Interested in scoring a Porter Tokyo product and not travelling to Japan any time soon? If you’re based in Singapore, here’s how you can get your wanted item within a week from Japan.
From what I understand, these are the differences between the various popular Porter brands.
Yoshida & Company are the founding company of the Porter brand, which history dates back to 1935. To this day, all items originating from them are made in Japan, keeping with the founder’s vision of preserving Japanese craftsman. Check out this page on Yoshida & Company’s history for more information as well as this video of the making of a Porter Tanker Rucksack.
Head Porter is a collaboration with Hiroshi Fujiwara, who is known as the Godfather of the Ura-Hara movement, Nigo‘s master and an avid support of Kangol (This thrills me quite a bit, as I am a big Kangol fan). The navy Tanker items are exclusive to Head Porter and you can order from them directly at the online store which comes without Japan sales tax. Shipping is 2000 yen to Singapore and they ship by Fedex.
Porter International has three outlets in Singapore (Oue Bayfront Linkbridge, Tangs PlayLab Orchard Level 3 and Wisma Atria Shopping Centre) and you can walk into their stores to score their items. They carry similar product lines to Yoshida & Company and their products are made in Taiwan. You may want to check their retail prices against other online avenues before purchasing. Porter International’s MA-1 line sports similar models to Yoshida’s Tanker line.
2. Next, look for the series…
3. …followed by item type.
4. Click on the item and take note of the serial number highlighted in blue. In this case, the item number is 622-08302. You should also note the price and size as you can verify it against Futaba’s description on their Japanese site.
5. Go to Futaba’s Japanese language site and look for the item.
6. In this case, I am looking for the Tanker series.
8. Based on the serial number and price that you obtained from Yoshida & Company online catalogue, you should be able to locate the item if they have it in stock.
9. Take note of the last part of the URL of the item detail page that bears the serial number. In this case the number is abbreviated from 622-08302 to 622-8302. I am guessing that they omit the ‘0’ in some instances, so make a note of this.
10. Next, proceed to Futaba’s English language site on Rakuten, by adding the serial number 622-8302 after the last / of this url – http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/futaba-bag/item/ i.e., http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/futaba-bag/item/622-8302/
This saves you the trouble of scrolling through the entire site’s pages to locate the item, as in some instances, the Porter items do not show up at all.
You will immediately arrive at the Porter Tanker Waist Pouch product detail page of Futaba on Rakuten, where you can start to process your order. The following steps are done with the assumption that you have already signed up as a Rakuten member.
11. Click on Add to Cart, then click on ‘Yes, Continue to Checkout’.
12. Your order summary will appear in the next page. Click on ‘Proceed to Checkout’ and you will be prompted to log-in in the next step.
13. In the member log-in page you will be prompted to either ship to your Rakuten membership’s registered address, or to an alternative address. In this instance, I am shipping to a new address.
14. Key in the relevant details, then click continue.
15. You will then arrive at the payment screen. You can choose gift wrapping and decoration. The options in this case are Japanese text with no images, so it’s the luck of the draw in this case.
16. Fill in your payment details and select Rakuten International Shipping Services. In the text box, do make a note to the seller to send the item to your preferred address, and advise you on the EMS charges, which should be 2000 yen per item.
17. Click on continue and you will be asked to confirm your order. Upon confirmation, your order will be sent to Futaba. Do note that they pack and ship off items before 4pm, Japan time, so it’s a good idea to confirm your order in the morning. The sales staff at Futaba will contact you shortly from firstname.lastname@example.org, so you might want to add the URL to your email provider’s safe list.
In my experience with Futaba, I ordered the items on a Wednesday and received them on Friday. They declare the full value of the purchase so you might want to watch the GST limit.
And here are the unboxing pix!
I hope the above information helps.
If you’re visiting Tokyo, I found that the cheapest place to score Yoshida & Company‘s products with a wide selection is from Tokyu Hands, thanks to my pal Eddie. If you’re visiting the Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro outlets, you will receive a 5% voucher on top of your tax refund.
First, you’ll have to go to the Tokyu Hands information counter and present your passport and request for the voucher. Use the voucher to pay for your purchase, then return to the information counter to request for the tax refund.
Do note that these needs to be done on the day of purchase itself so don’t start shopping at 7.55pm.